No, she didn't die
“Kathryn, clean up your mess,” was repeated not once. Not twice. Four times. Between her father and I we had to tell her this four times in as many minutes. First, she’d pick up one thing. Then once she started picking up the cat toy, it became a reason to entice our eldest (a cream tabby) to chase her around the house. “Kathryn, clean up.” I repeated. She picked up a couple of our dog’s toys that she had set up in the living room like bowling pins. Once she got to the third toy, it was time to play fetch with the dog.
Thus came the third command “Kathryn, your grey stuffed cat… Pick it up.” A fly started buzzing around. She became engrossed in conversation with it. As if the fly understood, much less would respond. Finally, the counting began. “Kathryn, clean up your mess left in the living room. Dinner is going to be ready soon… One. Two..”. Within a few seconds, all toys were at least out of the living room. Whether they were placed where they belonged in her room, I don’t know.
Then came the making of dinner. We had hamburgers on the grill tonight.
“Kathryn, what do you want on your burger?” he asked her.
“Come-here Nora!” was the reply.
“Kathryn, come here and tell us what you want,” he repeated.
“Daddy, are there any new flies in our fly trap today?” (a rather disgusting thing to publish here, but welcome to summer in Arkansas).
“Kathryn!” I finally say louder than he did. “When your father is talking to you, you answer him! We’ve had to repeat ourselves many times today and frankly, we’re getting a little tired of it.. Now..”
“MOMMY! LOOK!” The child runs back over to our bay window. “The kittens are playing in our back yard aga…”
She wasn’t given much opportunity to finish that thought before I had her by the hand and was taking her down the hall to ‘the corner’. She was wailing all the way..
“I don’t WANT to go to the corner! I’m HUNGRY! I’M GOING TO STARVE AND DIE IF YOU DON’T LET ME EAT NOW!” Her nose went to the corner and I walked away, leaving her sniffling for seven minutes. Finally, once the sniffling subsided some, I told her she could let me know when she was ready to listen.
After a couple minutes she said she was ready. I set the child down and explained to her that she should NEVER walk away from a parent when she was being talked to. That she was at the time being scolded for being disrespectful and did something even more disrespectful in the process. She relayed that she understood when I asked her to repeat to me what she understood her ‘crime’ to be and she sat down and ate dinner.
Incidentally, the child did not starve and is still alive right now.
That was just tonight; The conclusion to our weekend. For my husband, it was a four-day weekend. I’m sure you can just imagine how the first three days went!